Milta Ortiz

Milta Ortiz

Milta Ortiz is a Salvadoran-American playwright, who moonlights as poet, performer, and writer. Originally from the Bay Area, she now calls Tucson home. She is excited to work with Quetzal Guerrero and Borderlands Theater on Anita, a musical in the universe of Annie but completely different and with the Tucson sound. Anita was incubated at Arizona State University, where she is a Projecting All Voices Mellon...
Milta Ortiz is a Salvadoran-American playwright, who moonlights as poet, performer, and writer. Originally from the Bay Area, she now calls Tucson home. She is excited to work with Quetzal Guerrero and Borderlands Theater on Anita, a musical in the universe of Annie but completely different and with the Tucson sound. Anita was incubated at Arizona State University, where she is a Projecting All Voices Mellon fellow. Her most recent plays are Pilar and Paloma, and Cycles, a commission from StoryWorks Theater and the Arizona Daily Star, which virtually premiere in August 2020. Her play Judge Torres, commissioned by Milagro Theatre Group toured nationally to colleges and universities in the 2019/2020 season. She received NEA Artworks and NALAC Artist grants to develop and produce her play, Sanctuary, which premiered at Borderlands Theater in September 2018. She devised, wrote and directed Solving for X for the Working Classroom, which premiered in 2017. Her play, Más was produced at San Diego State University (2018), Su Teatro (March 2017), and co-produced by Laney College (March, 2016), and Ubuntu Theater Project (May 2016). Más premiered at Borderlands Theater in September 2015 thanks in part to an NEA Artworks grant and was nominated for a Steinberg-ATCA Award. Borderlands’ production toured to Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University in 2016 and 2017. Más was developed at Borderlands Theater through a National New Play Network residency and a NALAC individual artist grant in 2013/2014. Más was selected to the Latino Theater Commons Carnaval play festival, and made the Kilroys List in 2015. Other produced plays include A Tucson Pastorela (18th-21st annual productions), Sonoran Shadows, Disengaged, Fleeing Blue, and solo play Scatter My Red Underwear. Milta is associate artistic director at Borderlands Theater. She is proud to serve on the NNPN Board since 2019. She took part in the strategic planning committee that developed the board restructure and served on the previous board from 2015-2017. She earned an MFA from Northwestern University and a BA from San Francisco State University. She is mom to a creative second grader.

Plays

  • Pilar and Paloma
    After the newly built wall, Desert mourns her fallen Saguaros as Lupe rushes to get across the border. One mother’s grieving ripens another’s pregnancy and Zuri steps in to help Lupe’s twins. In a hurry, Zuri breaks desert convention and years later they must face the consequences.
  • Sanctuary
    When Carol and Micha find out about detained Salvadorans fleeing civil war, they set out to process political asylum applications. After meeting Victor, a Salvadoran in a Border Patrol detention center, they realize that they're going to need help. They call on Father Hartford who meets Nidia, a Salvadoran with strong opinions at another detention center. Micha and Carol enlist Jeff Chord, who sits on the...
    When Carol and Micha find out about detained Salvadorans fleeing civil war, they set out to process political asylum applications. After meeting Victor, a Salvadoran in a Border Patrol detention center, they realize that they're going to need help. They call on Father Hartford who meets Nidia, a Salvadoran with strong opinions at another detention center. Micha and Carol enlist Jeff Chord, who sits on the National Presbyterian Council and before long Quaker Will Hewitt joins the group with ideas of his own. But Nidia and Victor are on opposite sides of the war, the number of detained Salvadorans keeps growing, and the group has to come to terms with their personal issues, and choose between the law of man and the law of God.
  • Más
    Based on a true story. A community struggles to hold onto their history, identity, and humanity as they fight to save Mexican American Studies in the Tucson Unified School District.
  • Disengaged
    Follows the lives of seven high schoolers as they struggle to attend and stay in school. (Based on source material: story circles with youth and educator interviews on the drop out crisis in Phoenix.)
  • You, Me, and Tuno
    You, Me, and Tuno is a poetic journey that questions relationships and place in the search for home. Marisol, Luna and Tuno venture out of their opportunity desert hood, to the aisles of “Real Foods” to taste a pomegranate.